I have GAD and have been taking fluoxetine for about a year now. My doctor prescribed lorazepam as my “emergency” medication, aka to be taken when my fluoxetine doesn’t stop a panic attack. This doesn’t usually happen very often, but I stopped taking my fluoxetine because I found that my cat helped soothe my anxiety. My parents took him away, so I’ve been trying to take my fluoxetine every day again, but it can take up to 14 days to fully feel the effects. So, I’ve been taking my lorazepam (Ativan) when I feel super anxious, which is almost every day. I take .5 mg for panic attacks, but I’ve noticed they don’t work as well any more and I’ve been having to take 2 or 3 pills to stop a panic attack. I want to talk to my doctor and my mom about upping the dosage, but when I went to get my medications filled again, my doctor warned me not to use the lorazepam unless I absolutely need it. I do follow that advice, because usually people take a 30 pill bottle of .5 mg in 6 months, but I almost made it a whole year without needing to fill it. I don’t want them to worry that I’m addicted, because I’m not, I just need a higher dosage to feel relaxed at all. Should I talk to my doctor about upping the dosage or try to hang on until the fluoxetine takes effect? (Could be ~11 days until it takes effect)
Not only will you build up a tolerance to it, it is extremely habit forming leading to rapid dependency. I wouldn't touch it for those reasons alone and withdrawal also is supposed to be protracted and nasty. It sounds like your doctor really does have your best interests at heart.
After a very long time I have learned something I dubbed “Straddling” dosages of necessary habit forming medications. This will ensure they will work when truly needed plus extending your pills until next refill.
I have taken this medication off and on most of my life, that is fluoxetine.It took about 2/3 weeks to get into my system. But once it did, it was my life saver. Though after 4/6 months I was feeling anxious as if it wasn't enough. Long story short any antidepressants are commonly known that they only work for so long before your body needs a higher does. And as far as the Ativan slow down. This is for serious panic attacks or anxiety that you can't control. My doctor prescribes it to take only as needed! Because if you get to use to this medication it can become addictive just like any other benzo. Sad to say but nothing ever works forever. My advice go up on the fluoxetine, take the Ativan no more than two × a day. Than after about 6 months drop your dose on the fluoxetine for a bit, and keep using the Ativan 3× a day as needed. That has always worked for me and my doctor. Good luck.
The benzo drugs such as Ativan and Xanax are very addicting. I think it is in your best interest to talk with your doctor!
Take care and be well
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